LOUISE Zajac has spent the past 11 years mixing with the high-flyers of Parramatta business – now she is looking forward to mixing paints in Bunnings.
After more than a decade as Parramatta Chamber of Commerce’s office manager, Louise has decided to call it a day, albeit with a heavy heart.
“It was time to move on, to slow down, but I still want to work. As I like helping people, I think a job in Bunnings would be ideal – in the paint section, mixing colours for people,” Louise told the Times.
It may sound completely different from the job that has been such a big part of her life, but, then, there are similarities.
Being confident, organized and driven for a start.
Over the years, the former school-teacher learned so much from each of the seven presidents she has worked with.
“Each has taught me something different – how to stand up for myself in a (largely) man’s world, how to be organised, how to relax and laugh,” Louise said.
“Working in the chamber has made me more confident and given me a love of mixing with people, but now I think it is time for new blood and for me to relax a bit.”
The 59-year- old wants to spend more time with her husband, traveling, and is considering a move up the Coast, now that her children have left home.
“But I may still want to work a bit and have put my name down at Bunnings. That way, I’ll still be around people, helping them,” she said.
Her other relaxation is “reading, reading, reading”, mostly murder mysteries with the odd romance thrown in.
Louise has certainly learned how to please people during her time at the Chamber.
“When you’re arranging seating at the WSABE (Western Sydney Awards for Business Excellence), you get to know where to seat people, who gets on with each other,” Louise said.
With 300 members, the Chamber has a larger number of white-collar executives than small-time merchants who have little time to attend meetings.
But the Chamber has become a powerful lobby group for businesses of all sizes in Parramatta, while still working closely with Parramatta Council and the federal and state governments.
Louise started working for the Chamber while looking for a job that fitted in with her children.
“The good thing was being able to be out watching the kids play sport while doing Chamber work on my laptop,” she said.
While Louise is looking forward to slowing down after 40 years of working, she knows she will miss the many friends she has made at the Chamber.
But, if any want to paint their walls, they’ll know where to go to get the right advice – as Louise is bound to be as good a mixer of paints as she has been with people.
By Di Bartok.